August 6 marked 30 years since the first website. Benj Edwards at How-To Geek has an excellent story about the origin. It began with Tim Berners-Lee of CERN posting to the alt.hypertext newsgroup to invite people to visit his World Wide Web project on August 6, 1991:
In 1989, a British software developer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (commonly abbreviated “CERN”) named Tim Berners-Lee grew frustrated with how scientists shared research at his organization. With many different file formats, programming languages, and computer platforms, he found it frustrating and inefficient to locate electronic records and figure out how they should be used.
To solve this, Berners-Lee envisioned a network system using hypertext that would allow computers of different kinds to effortlessly share information over a computer network. That invention, first documented in 1989, became the World Wide Web, or WWW for short.
In 1991 I was going into my last year of college. I wouldn’t know about the www until 1996. That said, I was on the internet in 1993 using a service called eco.net which provided email and a few other online text-based services. But after a year of using that for school I discontinued the service. Then it would be two years before I started hearing of Netscape and websites. In 1998 I built my first website, hand-coded and uploaded via Fetch, around the time the young www had begun it’s first growth spurt with web-hosting services like Yahoo’s GeoCities.